The Ministry of Roads and Highways has scrapped the collection of road and bridge tolls on all public roads in line with the spirit of the 2022 Budget Statement, but hawkers are upset over the “sudden implementation of the directive without giving them prior notice.”
The directive took effect on Thursday (18 November) after the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, while presenting the 2022 Budget Statement informed Parliament that the government is abolishing “all tolls on public roads and bridges”.
“Over the years, the tolling points have led to heavy traffic on our roads and lengthened travel time from one place to another, impacting negatively on time and productivity. The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities.
“To address these challenges, government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved. The toll collection personnel will be reassigned. The expected impact on productivity and reduced environmental pollution will more than off-set the revenue forgone by removing the tolls,” Ofori-Atta said.
Hawkers who ply their trade around the tollbooths due to traffic build-up are furious over the decision because the current “free-flow of traffic” is affecting their business.
“No one informed us about this decision. I’m taking care of my family. I came here this morning and suddenly we’re being told they are no longer taking the toll so it means there will no longer be traffic, and that affects our business,” a woman told Asaase News’s Nana Adjoa Entsuah-Hagan.
Asaase News reporters who visited some major tollbooths in Accra on Thursday report that most of the drivers were shocked “when they got to the tollbooths and paid nothing” and commended the government for the initiative to “address the frustrating traffic challenges.”
A statement signed by the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, said personnel of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service will be on hand to provide security at the toll locations from the effective date.
“Motorists are kindly advised to approach the locations with caution and observe all safety measures that will be put in place. The motoring public will be advised of further measures in due course,” the minister said.
The finance minister said in Parliament that to compensate for the road tolls, government is looking to introduce innovative ways of raising revenue such as the proposed 1.7% phone transactions levy payable by mobile money users per transaction above GHS 100. He said this will help government to shore up revenue inflows to fund road projects in the country.
This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved. The toll collection personnel will be reassigned. The expected impact on productivity and reduced environmental pollution will more than off-set the revenue forgone by removing the tolls.
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